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Can You Really Believe KILL LA KILL #21?

Episode #21 -- Watch & Learn. What's this all about?

Senketsu reminded me a lot of Venom at the beginning of this series, so it’s amusing to see those parallels continuing on, later into the game, when a lot of interest centers on simply mixing-and-matching this evil symbiote’s wearers. It’s probably only a matter of time before somebody wears both super-suits at once (while wielding both scissor blades, natch), is it?

This one episode more-or-less distills the series on the whole, I reckon. We start off with another uncomfortable T&A scene at Raygo's bathhouse. We see boundless creativity unleashed as Satsuki and Ryuko do battle on the high seas, with plenty of quick-change super-moves from the Four Horseman. Mako gets her moment to get at the touchy-feely stuff in her wonderfully histrionic way. And then there’s that artfully, abstractly, absurdist film-with-a-film scene in the faux wedding chapel that shows, once again, how this is like one big rock opera.

However, it’s the moments where Ryuko spouts off vitriolic monologues during her rampage that particular strike me. For one, it’s undeniable cathartic to see twenty episodes of stewing hatred between her and Satsuki finally coming to a bubble. Getting back to what I was saying about this one installment reflecting the whole series, though, I can’t help but see the... nature of her monologues representing some of my complaints about the tone of the series.

See, no matter how passionate and fiery Ryuko’s rhetoric gets, you kind of have to do a double-take as a viewer, because you know she doesn’t really mean anything she’s saying. We know she's going to snap out of it - - even if the words sounds like her true opinion, at times - - so we're just playing along. It’s a smaller case of how the series’ larger philosophical dialogue about clothes, original sin, menstruation, exhibitionism, etc. has been playing out, as far I can see.

We know it’s silly, and that's all well and good. But when the fight goes on - - and the gag just keeps going - - it gets harder and harder to play along. I just can't picture this series tying up on any of its thematic points with any sense of resolution by the end. .

Watch, Incomplete” and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
FoxxFireArt moderator on March 7, 2014 at 3:23 p.m.

I absolutely loved this episode. So many great action sequences, and I got one of the best belly laughs of the series out of this one. Everyone was so impressed with how Mako was able to give Satsuki's detailed plan to trap Ryuko, and it turned out she wrote it all down on her hands.

This also answered a nagging question I was having. If the Life Fibers regenerate, why didn't Nui heal her eye with that ability. As explained here. Life Fibers become more active when the host's life is in danger. Loss of an eye doesn't necessarily endanger one's life. A stab through the chest. That would do it. This also explains why a Kamui covers so little.

Satsuki is in absolutely rare form here. I'm really falling for her. Powerful, intensity, and intellect. I love it when she caught Nui off balance by pointing out that she has a chance to save Ryuko because Nui hasn't yet given up the purple scissor blade.

A touch that I particularly love about this series is the complete lack of love interest for the main characters. Normally in anime series such as this, the two female leads are often fighting over some guy, and the reason they are is never very clear. None of that here. It's about their battles and goals. They don't need romantic subplots to define them. You don't see that often enough.

I do wonder about that Ryuko and Nui deep kiss. Are they implying that Ryuko is gay, or is that just an example of her being corrupted by Ragyo's twisted family values? Either way, that's going to be awkward when she gets her mind back to normal.

My only complaint is that the Hulu version of this episode had a LOT of commercials. At one point, I think only three minutes past before there was another round of five commercials.

Lurkeroon March 7, 2014 at 5:59 p.m.

The action is undeniably great this episode, and of course she was going to get the whole scissor blade. Not sure how the series would end without her doing that. I don't have much to add on top of what has already been said. FoxxFireArt summed it up very well.

@FoxxFireArt: I too am glad that the main characters didn't have romantic involvement. It would have diminished a lot of the meaning in the plot to me.

hitsusatsu11on March 7, 2014 at 8:05 p.m.

Intense episode

takashichea moderator on March 7, 2014 at 9:32 p.m.

First few minutes of the show continues to remind me that this show never ceases to be ridiculous.

zaldaron March 8, 2014 at 2:41 a.m.

Hmm...I'm still expecting both her and her nemesis to be using different sides of the scissor in different super suits by the time this is over, and no I think everything she was saying she believed it simply wasn't bottled up by the fact she knows they are now on the same side. Simply because the enemy of your enemy is ally doesn't really mean they have to be your friend (exhibit A, America and Russia in world war II and likely Germany and Japan). As before I disagree with your issues with this show...but then I also love rock operas...(It's just a jump to the left, and a step to the right...you put your hands on your hips...)

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